Initially the chairlift rollback at Gudauri Ski Resort in Georgia was believed to be caused by a voltage fluctuation or brake issues but during a press conference held today by Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili, the cause was determined to be human error.
The investigation by the French firm Bureau Veritas confirmed that an electrical failure did cause the initial stoppage but human error lead to the rollback:
“However, after the chairlift was stopped, the operator had to introduce specific sequence of procedures and after implementation of the certain actions, the operator had to switch the chairlift on to the diesel generator power and bring the tourist to the safe site where they would have left the chairlift.
Unfortunately, according to the current conclusion, the operator made a mistake. The combination of the actions that he should have had carried out were not implemented in compliance with the relevant instructions – it was a human error. “
So the operator failed to kick on the back up generator which led to the rollback. The official statement from the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development goes onto say the operator is currently suspended and charges may be pending:
“Prior to the completion of the investigation, the authority will be suspended to the operator being on duty when the chairlift accident occurred. Issues related to charging of other liable persons will be detailed after completion of the official investigation.”
Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili made it clear that those injured have already been released from the hospital and have an open invitation to ski next year for free.
Here is the official statement from chairlift maker Doppelmayr:
Update: Accident Gudauri, Georgia – Friday, 16.3.2018:
This morning, Friday 23.3.2018 the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development in Georgia held a press conference regarding the incident of last Friday in Gudauri.
The ministry released an official information on their website with the first results of the investigation carried out in cooperation with the independent test institute, Bureau Veritas.
We hope that the injured persons are getting well soon. This remains the most important point at the moment.
Mag. Ekkehard Assmann
Head of Marketing and PR
Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH
images from ireneiadak IG